India has been under a lockdown since March 24, imposed to tackle the spread of coronavirus. On May 4, the government relaxed some norms and permitted the sale of liquor with certain restrictions. In this backdrop, two photographs of women in saffron clothing consuming alcohol have been shared by several users with the claim that they are BJP politicians. The complete message reads, “ठेके खुलते ही बीजेपी नेत्री का पहला रुझान आया धन्यवाद मोड़ी जी ठेके खुलवाने के लिए.” One M Patel Patidar’s post has attracted 22,000 shares as of this writing.

Both images are viral with the same claim on social media.

Fact-check

A reverse-image search of the pictures revealed that they have been circulating at least since last year. The earlier post that we were able to trace dates back to July 24, 2019. Facebook user Rahul Bodh claimed that the woman are sadhvis during Kanwar yatra. “कावड यात्रा पर निकली साधुयी रास्ते मे सोम रस पिते हुई,” reads the caption.

On July 28, 2019, Twitter user@Nitu604 shared four images of the women, among which two of the photos are presently viral. The user wrote, “भगवा वस्त्र पहनकर गले में Latin cross के आकार की माला पहनकर हिंदू धर्म को बदनाम करती हुई क्रिश्चियन महिलायें। कितनी भी सडयंत्र कर लो हिन्दू धर्म और हिंदुत्व का बाल भी बांका नही कर सकते,” which translates to “Christian women dressed as Hindus defaming Hindusim.”

Therefore, old photographs were shared as women politicians of the BJP consumed alcohol after liquor shops were allowed to open. The claim is not only sexist, but false. While Alt News could not establish the orgin of the pictures, they certainly do not represent what is being claimed on social media.

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About the Author

Priyanka Jha specialises in monitoring and researching mis/disinformation at Alt News. She also manages the Alt News Hindi portal.